The Coshocton County Beacon February 27, 2019 - Page 12

Port Authority Executive Director shares highlights of Washington trip Swigert gets opportunity to tell Coshocton’s story Washington D.C. Presentation Below is the presentation made in late 2018 in Washington D.C. by Coshocton Port Authority Executive Director Tiff any Swigert. Contributed | Beacon Coshocton Port Authority Executive Director Tiff any Swigert (left) recently had the opportunity to share the Coshocton story in Washington D.C. to an infl uential group of foreign policy makers. Swigert is pictured with Susan B. Glasser, a staff writer at the New Yorker, where she writes a weekly column on life in Trump’s Washington. She was a founding editor of Politico and edi- tor-in-chief of Foreign Policy Magazine. By Mark Fortune COSHOCTON - Tiff any Swigert, executive direc- tor of the Coshocton Port Authority, recently had the opportunity to tell the Coshocton story in front of a group of foreign policy makers in Washington D.C. Th e trip and opportunity was funded in part by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Marion, Lima, Colum- bus, Cleveland, Dayton and Coshocton are all highlighted in a publication made possible by Th e Ohio State University and the afore- mentioned organization. Th e report is titled, “U.S. Foreign Policy for the Middle Class; Perspectives from Ohio.” Th e Coshocton and Marion, Ohio stories are similar with losses of large manufacturers while the larger cities fare much better with defense and government spending. Swigert had the opportunity to compile a two to three minute presentation and ask questions of these leaders representing countries from around the globe. Th at presen- tation is presented below in its entirety as a courtesy of Th e Beacon. You can also view the video of Swigert presenting the information to the group which included two former White House Chiefs of Staff , Joshua Bolton under George W. Bush and Denis McDonough who served as Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff in the second term. In particular Swigert talked about the un- 12 THE BEACON completed Pittsburgh to Columbus corridor - with only 30 percent of this project still need- ing completion to provide a continuous stretch of 160 miles of four lane highway to connect Ohio’s capital city with Pittsburgh - the project was a main focus of her presentation. Another key component is the loss of man- ufacturing plants and the jobs that go along with that. But another factor looms large on the landscape - and that is the oftentimes environmental impact left behind for already struggling communities to deal with in an often chicken or egg situation. To get the site fi xed up and shovel ready for a new manu- facturer the community must fi nd matching funds to go with a grant. You can fi nd a link to a video that provides more in depth information about the impact of - and possible need for changes to - U.S. Foreign Policy for the Middle Class at: is-u.s.-foreign-policy-working-for-ohio-s- middle-class-pub-77947 Th e below is a link to the presentations that include Coshocton’s very own Port Authority Executive Director Tiff any Swigert. Swigerts’ presentation on Coshocton is at the one hour and six minute mark. how-can-u.s.-foreign-policymakers-do-better- for-middle-class-event-7018 “Th ank you for your time and the opportunity to quickly introduce you to my hometown, Coshoc- ton, Ohio. Coshocton is located 75 miles North East of Columbus and sits between Columbus and Pittsburgh. Th is report does an excellent job of describing our past struggles regarding the loss of industry in Coshocton, Ohio. I believe that too many times, it is diffi cult to see past the writing on the paper and truly look at the hu- man impact these decisions have. I could easily detail the thousands of jobs that have been lost to foreign locations, as I have personally experienced this with my husband and my father. However, it is more benefi cial to describe the absolute strength and resiliency that my community has due to these strug- gles thus making us the strongest of manufacturing workforce. Due to the loss of the largest water con- sumer in Coshocton, West Rock, a corrugated paper company, our residents experienced a 34 percent increase on their water bills as well as suff ering from the loss of jobs and increased cost of essential goods. All the while, these com- panies are permitted to pull out of communities like ours leaving Brownfi eld sites left to be cleaned up by communities with already strained resources. One would think it is easy enough to locate grant opportunities to redevelop those Brownfi elds; however local match dollars are always a require- ment. We have been advised that if we have an end-user of those sites, then we are much more competi- tive in the process. Th us present- ing us with the Chicken and Egg theory. We would have an end user if the site was shovel ready. I would prefer to highlight our current successes despite the struggle and our hopes for our future growth. As we put our best foot forward in Coshocton to redevelop these sites in an eff ort to attract new busi- ness opportunities with gainful employment, we would ask you to consider truly the best way to assist these communities in an actual rebound. By looking to provide funding for communities hit by those former trade policies in the form of site redevelopment dollars (even for speculative projects) as well as complete projects once started and stalled such as the Columbus to Pittsburgh Corridor. Only 30 percent of this infrastruc- ture needs completed to provide a continuous 160 mile four lane highway directly from Columbus to Pittsburgh. Th e timing of this support would be essential to a six county region and would certainly assist in the continued progression of the oil and gas boom and partic- ularly the downstream operations including ethane cracker plants under construction in Pennsylva- nia and proposed in Ohio. With the completion of the Columbus to Pittsburgh Corridor, a truly critical piece of infrastructure for the entire region, we can expect in- creased traffi c that would provide and support additional business lo- cation and subsequent job creation in the corridor. We have a proven track record of growing companies and providing outstanding return on investment – in the last seven years, $5 billion in private invest- ment in the six-county region has resulted in more than 9,500 jobs created. We’ve done it before, and we will do it again. Additional de- velopment dollars will help realize this success more quickly. What advice can you give to communities like ours that have experienced these great losses and are working so hard to rebound while keeping their communities positive?” Swigert added, “We plan to continue to use the relationships established during our visit to Washington D.C. to help further assist Coshocton’s progress. We were very grateful for the oppor- tunity to work with Th e Ohio State University and Th e Carnegie En- dowment for International Peace and we look forward to working with them in the future.” FEBRUARY 27, 2019